This was their second time at Civic Center that year. From '73 on, all 19 shows in RI were here at the Dunkin' Donuts. You can walk here from both RISD and Brown. This show is known for the He's Gone and for the first Alabama, but there's more here. This tour can surprise - just when you think it's gonna be a typical show there's always a sequence that gifts the X factor.
First Set. You need AUDs for the first few seconds of Minglewood (T for NYC). There are some issues, but it's getting ironed by the end. They Love Each Other is sleepy; not the match of 11/1. Funny, Billy tells Mickey, "When I write my book I'm gonna call it Deep Stick". Jer always tries to slow down and Bobby tries to go up, here asking for a better tempo. It works, bringing first sparks to Big River. Jer adds fills from the start. Back in his hands, Althea is light until the end solo. The first 50sec of the decent Easy to Love You are AUD-only. Brown Eyed Women surprises: Jer takes an extra measure and X-factor revolves. The SBD is not mixed well here; a matrix might add recognition value for this BEW. This is a fine-enough example of Lost Sailor, but the tempo is lost by the 2nd chorus, giving it a sinking feeling for our sailor. That's fixed for a soaring Saint and Jer finds a new place. Perfect. The SBD loses some of Bobby's guitar in this part of the set, but it sounds like the PA did, too. So you have to dig for the pleasure somewhat. That's true for this tour in general, which was mixed for Brent's edification. Even if Deal isn't an ace, taken as a whole this four-song stretch is kush on a tray.
Second Set. This is the premiere of Alabama. They got to the 8th show of the tour before Jer decided to break it out and give it a run. Not bad, though Brent takes most of it (you need an AUD for the start). However Greatest Story is rickety, until Jer decides to go for broke at the end. At this point Jer warns Bobby to stop speeding the tempo; and asks Brent to play an E (yes, the days before inline digital tuners). Ship of Fools is tight enough but unicursal. Then there's an Estimated Prophet...Okay, this sounds a little different. And it works because Brent has now got a handle on it and Phil is having fun. They take this package into He's Gone. It's a drowsy version at first, but the groove settles and it becomes better, and better, until the closing jam - which is one of a kind. There's just enough here to stand out for the era (they hit on this thread again a few nights later, in Buffalo), and at over 21min it must be one of the longest. Drums has a full stop before Space, which is mostly a long-ass, new agey/sci-fi, wonderful tease into The Other One. They get into the latter and nail it down, except for some shoes in the dryer. The flow is gone for Wharf and Around & Around is an example of you-had-to-be-there, but for U.S. Blues they come back energized; pure joy.
1st Set: B 2nd Set: C+
Overall = 3¾ stars
Brown Eyed Women - the mix hides a hot one
Saint of Circumstance - uptempo & exactly what Bobby wanted; esp. w/4-song sequence
Estimated Prophet - sounds a little different, check Brent
He's Gone - drowsy becomes brilliant, oh you just wait
U.S. Blues - pure joy to leave 'em happy
SOURCES: The clugston_6947 is the cleanest SBD source. It has cuts at the beginning of Minglewood & Alabama, the first part of Easy to Love, and a 6sec cut 7½min into He's Gone. It also runs pretty fast, needing -2% pitch correction for the first set, -1.5% for Alabama through Ship, -1.25% for Estimated & He's Gone, and -1% for the rest (macdonald_791 is a copy). The newer, easier-to-use 142917_sbd_miller is patched and repitched, but it's muddier on the bottom. The friend_andrewf_101486 is the best (AUD-only) source for Around & Around and U.S. Blues. It runs slightly slow and needs +1% pitch correction. Avoid the 128814_MrBill SBD. Along with tuning edits, the speed has been monkeyed for faster stream rate (without pitch correction) and a reverb filter has been applied.
December 13, 2013 Subject:
He's Gone...Too...Wharf Rat
Well I say, these are some of the most emotional and charged versions so far in the 70's. Love that Wharf Rat!
September 26, 2012 Subject:
I can only second what the other reviewers have said. Fall '79 has to be one of the Dead's best tours. Their Brent-era sound was just starting to fire on all pistons, and Jerry was consistently playing in the pocket night after night. His voice is strong, Tiger sounds amazing, and his solos were inspired. Phil just began using his Irwin Tiger look-alike bass on this tour. It adds a rich punchy tone to the mix, reminiscent of Big Brown. Brent is playing a "dynoed" Rhodes piano and B-3 organ. I love the key-clicking sounds he gets out of these instruments. Bobby still using Mesa heads and Ibanez 'Cowboy Fancy' guitars; no rancid distortion yet (as we would hear later on (especially in '93-'95). His tone is warm and bright. Drummers are on fire, as usual.
Highlights here are Lost>Saint, cowboy songs, a tight Deal, a fourteen minute Estimated into a twenty-one minute He's Gone.
Great clean sound. Breathtaking performance.
November 4, 2011 Subject:
Bomberman Has It Right
This He's Gone is absolutely Killer. This tour is one of the best ever!
He also may be right about the rating, but I had to give it a 5 becuase I didn't notice the He's gone cut at first listen.
May 2, 2010 Subject:
Surpised there are no other reviews...
I was one of those "unfortunate" ones who never experienced a show during the Keith/Donna years. I basically "grew up" during the reign of Brent and though one could honestly say that he joined during the beginning of the decline of the band, it certainly wasn't anything to do with him, more or less the excesses of the "rock & roll" life began to take a toll on Jerry especially. But with this being said (and probably unnecessarily) let it be known that IMOH Brent was the best musician to man the keys in the bands history. So begins my attempt to go back to the "early on" of his tenure with the band, to a time when the others still had energy and passion and the excitement that new blood always seems to bring to a band (just lsten to some of those October '71 shows to see what I mean).
The show here is relatively laid back with lots of Brent's electric piano and Hammond organ that would come to be his trademark sound. They start off with a nice Minglewood that has a different flavor from the previous versions. The TLEO is fantastic with wonderful playing throughout. Me & My Uncle > Big River are played very well with an abundance of energy. Althea flows along beautifully with the electric keys adding a jazzier feel. The beginning of Easy to Love You is cut but what is here is played well. BEW is good and Jerry is singing with feeling, but there are some sound issues that begin to surface here. Lost Sailor > SOC > Deal are all very strong to close the 1st set.
Alabama > GSET kick off the 2nd set in fine fashion. SOF and Estimated are also excellent but the version of He's Gone is exceptional. Starting out beautiful, soft and jazzy, around the 14 min mark it begins to explode into a fusion-like psychedelic jam of monstrous proportion. There is a cut following the bridge which is a shame, but do not let this stop you from continuing on! TOO is relatively short but hot and the Wharf Rat here is excellent with Brent's Hammond adding to the grandeur of the composition. Around & Around cuts off prematurely...no need to even comment.
The show itself is excellent, definitely worthy of 5 stars. The sound, though mostly pretty good, is only worth 3 stars due to the fact that Jerry's guitar fades in & out during quite a few of the tracks, making some of his solos barely audible. A mean rating of 4 stars is what I'm giving and I believe most will agree.
I noticed this hasn't been streamed that much and what a shame, this show is fantastic. Give a listen...